A female only running group in Monton have said they want to create a safe space for women to run.
With women’s safety high on the news agenda, Becky Franks and Lydia Norman, wanted to start Run the World before darker nights kicked in.
They say their most recent week has been the busiest for messages, with plenty of women wanting to take part.
“We’ve had about 10 people come every week and we just seem to be getting more and more messages.
“It’s been really nice and we feel like we’re doing a bit of good as well.” said Lydia.
As we’ve reached the darker nights of the year, Becky and Lydia thought it was important to get the group set up as soon as possible.
Becky said: “When we were planning it, we said we needed to get it started before it gets dark. We know running in a group is safer, our friends we run with won’t necessarily run on their own.”
Lydia said: “Understanding barriers to physical activity was at the forefront of our minds, and safety is one of them.”
Feeling uncomfortable when out after dark is something many women experience, and Becky and Lydia have experienced their fair share of uncomfortable encounters.
Becky spoke: “We get the usual beeped at, shouted at. We’ve had a few comments from people. I think when you’re with someone, you can laugh about it. Whereas, when you’re on your own you can feel quite intimidated.”
Both Becky and Lydia live in Monton and thought it would be the perfect place for a running group to take place.
“We love Monton because it has that amazing hubbub and urban life. But it also has the loopline, it’s got Worsley Woods.
“There are so many things, particularly for runners, that in the summer you can go off road and it just feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere when you’re actually in this amazing city.” said Lydia.
There are plenty of safety tips that new runners can do to keep themselves safe whilst running at work.
“First and foremost, join Run the World! Get a basic headtorch and a something hi-vis, like a tabard, that you can wear. Stick to busy, well-lit roads. Ultimately being in a group gives you confidence as well.” said Lydia.
Run the World is open to people of all skill ranges, experienced runners and new. To keep the group as one, one of the leaders runs at the front and one at the back.
Becky said: “I think it helps us feel like a hug of the group. I think it makes the girls feel like they’re really part of the group and we’re there to look after them and support them.”
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The aim of Run the World has been to create a safe space for all runners, so the leaders have plenty of advice for new-starting runners.
“A run is a run, it doesn’t matter how fast it is, how far it is, you just get out.” Becky said.
Lydia said: “Most groups are there to create a social network. They’re not there to race you. Just give it a go and I think you’ll be surprised about how much you enjoy it.”
Run the World meet at Dukes Drive in Monton every Tuesday at 6:30pm.